A public school in Fertile, Minn., will no longer place a nativity scene in the cafeteria, as it did last December. According to local news sources, the display was temporarily removed, then put back up following a vote of the school board late last year.
FFRF Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott sent a letter to the Board of Education in December explaining why a public school may not lawfully maintain, erect, or host a nativity scene:
“The placement of a scene of the legendary birth of Jesus in a public school places the imprimatur of the school district behind Christian religious doctrine. Endorsements of Christianity in public schools are disturbing for those parents and students who are not Christians.”
On Feb. 28, the district’s attorney replied in writing assuring FFRF that the school board “rescinded its previous directive, which would allow ‘religious symbols as part of holiday decor as long as it is accompanies by other holiday decor.’”
The letter added, “The school district is fully aware of the current status of the applicable Federal and State statutes as well as court decisions regarding the issues at hand and intends to proceed in a fashion consistent with the law.”